Gulf stock market rises, government reshuffle buoys Saudi market
An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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DUBAI: Most major Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday in response to a modest recovery on Wall Street and in oil prices at the end of last week, while a sweeping reorganization of Saudi Arabia’s economic policy-making apparatus boosted shares there.

The Saudi stock index .TASI closed 0.2 percent higher after rising as much as 1.0 percent at one stage. Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries 2010.SE gained 0.3 percent.

The Saudi reorganization replaced the oil minister and central bank governor and restructured some major ministries, creating a super-ministry under Khalid al-Falih to manage the growth of industry and resource extraction.

Many fund managers still have questions about how a wide-ranging economic reform program unveiled on April 25 can be financed and whether it can be fully implemented, but local investors have been reacting bullishly.

State utility Saudi Electric 5110.SE climbed 1.8 percent. Saturday’s reshuffle moved the electricity portfolio to the new super-ministry; this could give fresh impetus to a restructuring of Saudi Electric, which has been discussed for years with little progress.

Insurers were also strong, with Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance 8100.SE jumping its 10 percent daily limit.

Dubai’s index .DFMGI gained 0.6 percent to 3,326 points, bouncing from near technical support on the late March lows of3,248-3,253 points, though trading volume was low.

Dubai Parks & Resorts DUBA.DU, the most heavily traded stock, rose 2.3 percent. Trading in rights to a major share issue in the company began last week and will continue through next week.

Abu Dhabi’s index .ADI gained 0.5 percent as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ADCB.AD rebounded for a second day from a slump following its first-quarter earnings. The stock rose 1.3percent.

Qatar .QSI edged down 0.2 percent although Dlala BrokerageDBIS.QA added 2.7 percent in unusually heavy trade.

Kuwait’s Burgan Bank (BURG.KW) rose 1.5 percent after reporting an 18.5 percent fall in first-quarter net profit to14.3 million dinars ($47.66 million), largely because of lower foreign exchange income; HSBC had forecast the bank would make 12.68 million dinars. Kuwait’s index .KWSE edged down 0.1 percent.

Egypt .EGX30 rose 0.3 percent, buoyed by gains in a few blue chips such as Orascom Telecom Media (OTMT.CA), which was up 2.7 percent.

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